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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:56 am 
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Resident Gearhead
Resident Gearhead

Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:11 pm
Posts: 2567
Location: Alberta, Canada
Year and Trim: 2004 GXP, 2008 STS, 2008 DTS
Over the past year I've become increasingly frustrated with GM replacement parts. Quality control has been terrible and it's caused me a lot of headaches when completing repairs.

My first experience was last fall when I attempted to replace forward lamp harness. I purchased the updated version from GM, carefully (and tediously) removed the old one from all the tight areas it was routed through and with almost as much difficulty, routed the new one into place. I made all the connections at the end devices (fans, horns, lights, sensors and washer fluid pump). My last and final connection was to snap the large (I believe) 68-cavity connector into the fuse box base and plug the fuse block back into the three mating connectors (main body harness, engine harness and forward lamp harness). Everything had gone relatively well, except that I just couldn't get the new forward lamp harness to mate with the fuse block. Upon closer examination, it was manufactured incorrectly. This large connector was rotated 180-degrees and the keys would not align properly. The parts department ordered a replacement and sure enough, it was correct.

Next, and something I'm still fighting with is my radiator replacement. I purchased an ACDelco OE radiator. Well, it's supposed to be OE but really isn't. Engineers, in their infinite wisdom, have changed the design of the fittings for the transmission cooler. They are low profile compared with the original version. First of all, the lower fitting (as per the documentation enclosed), will ALWAYS be for a threaded fitting on the transmission line. Well, mine wasn't. Whoever built it installed a quick connect fitting instead. No problem, so I thought. They were kind enough to include replacement that will accept a threaded line (although didn't include the seal needed for the line which I had to acquire separately). Off to the races I said! Oh, but then there was the upper fitting. It was the correct type (quick connect) only being low profile, the transmission line would not clip in. By securing the transmission line clamp to the fan shroud (as engineered), the line (or fitting, however you prefer to look at it) is too short. The parts department had no information in available engineering notes to offer a remedy. The parts department manager again helped me by contacting GM's ParTech (parts technical support line). Sure enough, they've seen this before! There is apparently another fitting I need that will extend the length so the line can now clip in properly. The part shows up today and as excited as a little kid on his birthday, I head off to pick it up. WTF!!! Sure, the fitting that arrived is a solution. Unfortunately, it threads into the fitting which I had to use to connect the lower line because (as I mentioned) they installed the wrong fitting in the bottom during manufacturing. So, Once again, I'm screwed. I'm now waiting for another one of those fittings used in the lower position. And guess what??? Nobody in Canada has one, it's stocked in Memphis TN.

My third issue is the brand new under hood electrical center. It's the identical part number to the one that came in the car and is factory populated with all the fuses, relays, circuit breaker and cover with fuse identification decal. Some of you may recall that I had Andrew do a little graphic work for me and I had new custom decals manufactured to correctly reflect the new electrical circuits for all my options. I looked over the new fuse block and suddenly thought I had made an error. The new fuse block shows one engine fan fused at 30A and the other fused at 40A. The factory installed fuses also reflect this. My custom decal is showing they should both be 30A?!?!? Well surprise!!! The new one is wrong. My old fuse block had two 30A fuses. I looked at a photo of my original fuse block decal (before modification), along with the GM service manual and the new one I purchased in January is incorrect.

Tonight I decided to get started on my power steering pressure line replacement. After everything I've been through so far, this should be a walk in the park. Well, one would think. The genuine GM part (which by the way is ONLY for the 2004-05 Bonneville with the LD8 engine) is again not quite like the original. There is a support around the line to attach it to the engine cradle. Well, they attached it several inches out of place. Fortunately, it wasn't too much work to carefully bend the crimped tabs holding it together so I could move it to the correct position. As long as I don't run into any other problems, this is minor. Still, yet another problem.

Seriously, is unreasonable to expect GM replacement parts to correct? These problems have all occurred over the past ten months. One of the reasons I spend the money on them is because they should (generally) be an identical replacement. These (big dollar) items have been nothing but a time consuming pain in my butt!

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Bose Luxury Sound System w/Touch Screen Navigation, Addition of Factory XM, 2005 MY Antenna, OnStar Upgrade (3G),
RainSense Wipers, Backup Camera, '00 Style Door Panel Courtesy Lights, Heated Washer Solvent, 2X Remote Trunk Release,
Turn Signal Mirrors, Center Console Courtesy Lamp, Rear Outboard Heated Seats, PVD Chrome 18" Factory Rims, Upgraded
Carbon Fibre Appearance Interior Trim, Highly Modified Main Body Harness, Instrument Panel, Door, Door Panel & Headliner
Wiring Harnesses, Custom Fuse Box & Tire and Loading Information Decals, Additional Acoustic Insulation


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:04 am 
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Posts like a Northstar
Posts like a Northstar

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:11 pm
Posts: 1729
Location: Ontario, Canada
Year and Trim: 2000 Bonniville SSEi L67
all manufactures are outsourcing to get the cheapest production costs: that causes parts to be substandard quality

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poverty forces one to do unorthodox things

2000 SSEi
past rides:
1996 SSEi
1992 GTP
1987 Grand Am


Last edited by 96 SSEi on Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:31 pm 
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Posts like an LG3
Posts like an LG3

Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:57 pm
Posts: 319
Location: MUSKEGO,WISCONSIN
Year and Trim: 2005SLE CRIMSON
2005SLE WHITE
1975 MONTE CARLO
You have to realize the world is now run by bean counters.
After the great recession 10 years ago things are a lot different now.
My old company I used to work for was only worried about ROI (return on investment).
Every meeting we had that's all they talked about.
What that meant was getting the product as cheap as you can and not worry about service or quality.
It is hard to buy anything now that is not made in China.
The quality factor is no longer important.
They can replace or warranty an item and still make a ton of money.
I can not tell you how many times I installed new Chinese automotive parts that were junk or trash.
Sure they replaced them no charge but what about my labor and time.
Most electrical parts from China are junk.
They use inferior solder which expands and loses contact when hot.
When part cools down it retracts and then works again until it gets hot again.
The frustrating thing is that I fix the problem and things still don't work.
I thought I fixed that problem and something else is wrong but no it is a new bad part that I just installed.
The bring rip off is that the price is still the same if it was made here.
If made in China price should be 1/2 what they are charging.
It all comes back to an old ancient word which is "GREED".


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:00 pm 
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Resident Gearhead
Resident Gearhead

Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:11 pm
Posts: 2567
Location: Alberta, Canada
Year and Trim: 2004 GXP, 2008 STS, 2008 DTS
I can't disagree that everything is about money these days. However in my case, China is not the problem. Every issue I listed above was in the manufacturing and not materials (at least so far). Looking at my GM part labels...

ACDelco Radiator P/N: 89018716 - "Made in U.S.A"
Power Steering Line P/N: 25773177 - "Made in Mexico"
Under Hood Fuse Block P/N: 25771362 - "Assembled in Mexico"
Forward Lamp Harness P/N: 15282635 - "Assembled in Mexico"

So far, hands down, the radiator has caused me the most grief. For anyone else who uses this radiator in their GXP, you'll need to make sure fittings for threaded transmission lines are installed in both the upper and lower transmission cooler positions. If the radiator comes incorrectly assembled with quick connect fittings in both the upper and lower positions, you'll need a second fitting, P/N 89018544. An adapter to then extend and convert the upper fitting back to a quick connect style, P/N 52481097, is required. The seal for the lower transmission line isn't included with the radiator. It's P/N 25874797 and a quantity of one is required. If reusing the engine oil cooler lines, the seals on these should be replaced. Two are required and they are P/N 25533913.

Or, you could just buy an aftermarket radiator (although the one I bought leaked within 2 years and less than 10,000km, which is why I'm installing an ACDelco).

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Bose Luxury Sound System w/Touch Screen Navigation, Addition of Factory XM, 2005 MY Antenna, OnStar Upgrade (3G),
RainSense Wipers, Backup Camera, '00 Style Door Panel Courtesy Lights, Heated Washer Solvent, 2X Remote Trunk Release,
Turn Signal Mirrors, Center Console Courtesy Lamp, Rear Outboard Heated Seats, PVD Chrome 18" Factory Rims, Upgraded
Carbon Fibre Appearance Interior Trim, Highly Modified Main Body Harness, Instrument Panel, Door, Door Panel & Headliner
Wiring Harnesses, Custom Fuse Box & Tire and Loading Information Decals, Additional Acoustic Insulation


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:05 pm 
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Posts like an LG3
Posts like an LG3

Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:57 pm
Posts: 319
Location: MUSKEGO,WISCONSIN
Year and Trim: 2005SLE CRIMSON
2005SLE WHITE
1975 MONTE CARLO
All though you are having issues with the radiator made in USA I do not have any more confidence with parts coming from Mexico.
I think their quality is on par with items coming from China.
I will never forget the problem I had with my Simplicity garden tractor.(2001 Model)
It has a Kohler 15 H.P.motor and the starter would not shut off when you turned the key to off.
They found out that the solenoids were the problem.
They came from Mexico and they were assembled in a factory with a dirt floor.
My point is that when things are made out of this country you have no control on quality or the assembly process.
Again it is about the almighty dollar!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:18 am 
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Certified Bonneville Nut
Certified Bonneville Nut
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Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 10:45 pm
Posts: 5653
Location: CHICAGO
Year and Trim: 2006 STS-V, 2004 GTO, 2009 G8 GT
It's all made to the cheapest place (mostly China), to the cheapest material spec (plastic of some sort), and in many cases no name manufacturer's that slap the "AC Delco" brand on it.

As to radiators, I have to replace the one in the old van every 3 years (like clockwork), because the housing they use at the bottom has cheap plastic and sealant, so it starts leaking out the bottom of the end cap. But then again, the radiator is only like $150 so...

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Retired Bonneville Owner and former GM Tech:
2004 Pontiac Bonneville GXP: Black/Ebony *SOLD*

Summer Toys: Combined 827 RWHP / 877lb/ft RWTQ
2004 Pontiac GTO: Impulse Blue Metallic/Black/M6: lots 'o mods, 415 RWHP / 405lb/ft RWTQ!
2006 Cadillac STS-V: Light Platinum Metallic/Light Gray/A6 - Spectre CAI, Magnaflow exhaust, Speed Inc. tune, 412 RWHP / 472lb/ft RWTQ

Daily Drivers:
2015 Chrysler Town & Country Limited Platinum: Mommy's NEW RGC
2007 Chrysler Town & Country Limited: Daddy's beater affectionately called the Rolling Garbage Can or "RGC" for short
2009 Pontiac G8 GT: L76, Sport Red Metallic
2009 Chevrolet Impala SS: LS4 V8, Victory Red
1999 Chevrolet Suburban: Sunset Gold Metallic - Daddy's winter beater and plow truck


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